As of March 19, CareSource has committed $500,000 to meet immediate needs related to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. With over 4,200 employees serving nearly 2 million members in five states, CareSource continues to focus on member initiatives with food banks, faith-based organizations, community partners, behavioral health and telehealth providers across its five markets.
“CareSource has a history of being mission-driven and committed to the overall health and well-being of its members,” said Erhardt Preitauer, President and CEO of CareSource. “During this critical time for our country, it’s important that we all step up to support each other and our communities. While investing and innovating in social determinants of health is our everyday work, it has never been more important than it is right now.”
Poverty can affect people in many ways, both physically and emotionally. CareSource has taken steps to support its members by removing barriers to COVID-19 testing, providing access to telemedicine and sustaining 24-hour access to healthcare professionals.
“When facing true poverty, all kinds of resources can be in short supply. That’s one reason the conversation around COVID-19 has me particularly concerned for those facing poverty,” said Karin VanZant, Vice President of Integrated Community Partnerships at CareSource. “Now and in the coming months, we will work with outside agencies to support those hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Increases Food Access for Vulnerable Populations
With a first-of-its-kind endeavor, CareSource partnered with The Foodbank Inc. to provide food boxes to quarantined seniors, which is critical during this period of social distancing and isolation. CareSource later expanded this partnership to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to provide a total 123,500 nutritious meals in Ohio. Beyond this immediate effort, CareSource continues to work closely with foodbanks in Southeast Ohio and Indiana to increase food access to vulnerable populations.
In Georgia, CareSource will provide financial support to their community partner, YMCA of Metro Atlanta, to provide child care for medical workers on the front lines combating the spread of the coronavirus.
Provides Employee Relief and Resources
Even in these uncertain times, CareSource’s goal continues to be connecting employees and members in need to services related to housing, food access, health care, transit, legal assistance, and much more. With new information and guidelines coming every day, CareSource is working hard to adapt and lead from the front.
CareSource is striving to allow maximum flexibility and support for employees. The plan includes the ability to work remotely for nearly every employee, flexible hours and the unprecedented step of providing reimbursement for short-term childcare needs as a result of school closures and, where needed, additional paid time off.
This flexibility is made possible by CareSource’s strong business continuity plan that is regularly tested to ensure it can continue to serve its members in a variety of conditions. Recently, the company conducted a robust exercise of its system and, due to the minimal disruption, the company proactively moved the majority of employees to work from home.
Supports Social Determinants of Health
CareSource regularly holds conversations focused on identifying needs in the communities to care for the needs the person as a whole. Social Determinants of Health focuses on the person outside of the patient, taking into account socioeconomic factors, physical environment, health behaviors and health care. CareSource is committed to strong partnerships with leading community-based organizations that will help communities manage this public health crisis.
“This is the time to live our mission and make sure we’re stepping up in our communities to fill gaps and care for our neighbors,” said Preitauer.